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Cop-Killer Heads Back To Prison

WAUKESHA, Wis.-Twenty-nine-year-old Ted Oswald is headed back to jail-perhaps for the rest of his life-after a state jury ruled the then-19-year-old was not criminally insane when he committed a violent crime spree with his father 11 years ago.

Oswald was convicted in 1995 of a 14-month rampage that included kidnappings, car theft, armed robberies at Medical Systems CU, in Waukesha, and Landmark CU, in Brookfield, in December 1993, and the shooting of Waukesha Police Capt.

James Lutz after a robbery at Bank One, but was ordered retried in 2003 because of juror bias in the first trial.

Community Gets CU Backing

TAMPA, Fla.-CU Housing Partners, an affordable housing CUSO owned by Suncoast Schools FCU and GTE FCU, has agreed to provide financing for a project to renovate historic West Tampa. The project will be developed by InTown Properties, a local development company, in partnership with the West Tampa Community Development Corp.

CU Housing will provide both mortgage and construction financing for the revitalization project, as well as free individual homeownership advisory services free to potential homebuyers.

Conn. CUs To Serve Non-Members

HARTFORD, Conn.-Connecticut became the seventh state to allow credit unions to serve non-members within their fields of membership with lifeline services like check cashing and wire transfers when Gov. Jodi Rell signed The Check Cashing and Wire Transfers Act into law.

Six other states, including California, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and New Mexico, have passed similar legislation in the past two years, and Congress is contemplating similar legislation for federal charters.

A separate bill signed by the Governor will also allow multiple group CUs converting to community charters to continue serving SEGs.

Indian CU Gambles On Contracts

MAHNOMEN, Minn.-White Earth Reservation CU said it has contracted with FastFunds Financial Corp. To help it provide financial services to Shooting Star Casino & Hotel. The contract calls for the credit union to complement FastFunds' ChexGuard electronic check conversion system and CreditGuard credit card advance system. ChexGuard electronically converts customer checks into an electronic transaction using Visa banking to verify the account is open and there are sufficient funds in the account.

CreditGuard is a proprietary credit and debit card cash advance system that allows casinos and retail customers to have funds electronically transferred into their account. FastFunds operates through its wholly owned subsidiary Chex Services, Inc.

House Calls For Alternatives

WASHINGTON-Several House members called on lenders last week to consider expanding the use of alternate forms of credit records for those loan applicants without formal credit history. Members of a House Financial Services subcommittee agreed that millions of credit-worthy Americans without formal credit records could benefit from the use of information as rental and bill payment to help lenders assess their creditworthiness, but they stopped short of endorsing a legislative fix.

Lawmakers from both parties, as well as representatives from credit bureaus, lenders and consumer advocates all agreed that both businesses and consumers would benefit from a standardized evaluation process for alternative credit information.

Holy Rosary Goes Multi-Lingual

ROCHESTER, N.H.-Multi-cultural members of Holy Rosary CU will be able to communicate with a member service rep in their native tongues with the credit union's new interactive language translation service. So far the service has been tested in French, Greek, Filipino and Indonesian, with as many as 150 languages available. The service connects a member with a translating system over a speakerphone, allowing the member to conduct business with an MSR using a translator. CU officials hope the system helps reduce stress and other concerns for its multi-cultural members while they conduct financial transactions.

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